Covid 19

South Africa returnee tests positive for Covid, might carry Omicron variant

Mumbai: A 32-year-old resident of Dombivli in Mumbai, who arrived from South Africa via Delhi on November 24, tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival. Health officials are yet to examine if he is infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The passenger had travelled from Cape Town to Domibivali on November 24. After the return,”He underwent the Covid test which resulted positive,” the official added.

KDMC health officials said they have alerted the airport authorities and efforts are on, to locate the man’s co-passengers.

The man didn’t come in contact with anyone after returning from South Africa, Dr Pratiba Panpatil, Medical Officer, KDMC, told reporters.The patient is currently admitted at the Art Gallery isolation centre of the KDMC, the official said.

“The KDMC health department is on alert. We are prepared to deal with the new variant,” Dr Panpatil added.

Amid rising worries over the Omicron variant, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun contacting 466 passengers who arrived in the city over the last 15 days from the “countries of concern”, including South Africa, and will take swab samples from them for RT-PCR tests. Officials said that 97 of the 466 passengers who arrived in Mumbai are residents of the city. The civic body is individually contacting all passengers for their health updates.

The increasing threat posed by Omicron variant, which has been classified as a Variant of concern by WHO. The Health Ministry on Sunday revised the guidelines for international travel. The government has also decided to review the date of resumption of international flights, earlier scheduled for December 15.

According to the Centre’s November 11 guidelines for international passengers, samples for RT-PCR tests are to be submitted on landing, after which passengers are allowed to leave the airport. Passengers are to follow home quarantine for seven days, with a mandatory retest on the eight day.

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